• FWX Mar qtr 2024  78.3
  • FWX yr-o-yr  3.66
  • FWX qtr-o-qtr  2
  • ASX 200 Boards years to equality  5.6
  • Underemployment years to equality  19.9
  • Superannuation years to equality  17.7
  • Gender pay gap years to equality  23.3
  • Employment years to equality  25.6
  • Unpaid work years to equality  45.5
  • Education years to equality  389

Networking is critical to women’s flexible work productivity

New research suggests that if you want flexible work, then you had better not let your networking efforts drop.
August 11, 2022

If you’re doing some form of flexible work but aren’t networking like you use to, then it’s time to pull your finger out.

New research by McKinsey & Company found that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our connections in the workplace have been in short supply and what’s more women have a lot of catching up to do!

In a recent survey of about 5,500 US workers, more than three-quarters of the respondents working in “traditional” roles —especially women and frontline workers—report connecting with others less frequently, having smaller networks, and spending less time and effort on relationship building since the start of the pandemic.

The survey found that about one-third of the men reported investing energy in getting in touch with old contacts, building new relationships, and strengthening existing ones. By contrast, only one-quarter of women said they were doing the same.

Only 11% of women surveyed compared with 17% of men said their network has grown over the past two years or so. Only 16% of women, compared with 28% of men report feeling more connected, and only 12% of women, compared with 24% of men reported having more contact with their networks.

In Australia, like the US, we have experienced a tremendous rise of flexible work arrangements, particularly among women, as workplaces were forced to embraced alternative forms of working if they wanted to stay in business.  One of these forms of working is telecommuting, which is another way of saying working from home as long as you have the internet for video conferencing and a phone – of course.

Now whilst telecommuting has its advantages, the biggest of which is supporting greater female workplace participation, the downside is that many of us can get a little too comfortable working from our homes or in our own little silos – even when we are part of a much bigger team.

But the benefits of socialising more with teams can be significant. Research shows that for companies, encouraging your employees to socialise and ensuring you are having regular and engaged catchups, has also been linked to reduced turnover and greater productivity.

For individuals, particularly women, it can lead to improved team and individual performance, increased knowledge transfer, greater innovation, and increased career mobility.

To help get you networking more, consider the following ideas:

  1. Use your social networks to create conversations, comment on posts and connect with old and new contacts. Make this part of your weekly actions.
  2. Don’t be afraid to connect and when you do, be authentic. People don’t like being sold to, so when you reach out to connect with new contacts, try to relate and be genuinely interested in what they do.
  3. Invite new contacts to take a virtual walk with you. This is where you both get outside of the office and talk on your phones about ideas, what each other does and ways that you might be able to do business.
  4. Attend online events. Once a month (would be ideal) aim to attend a virtual event which relates to an area where you are likely to make new contacts. Furthermore once you attend that event, make sure you follow up with those that you want to make new business connections with via email or social networking.
  5. As you expand your network, make it known to your business. You never know who knows who, or where connections will take you.


Financy is a fearless believer in economic equality, which uses data insights to accelerate progress and support organisational efforts in diversity, equity & inclusion.

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August 11, 2022
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